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Author Topic: Can't decide and have questions.........  (Read 956 times)

rollindowntheroad

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Can't decide and have questions.........
« on: December 11, 2017, 01:14:19 PM »
Hello to all! I don't know if this is the correct place to ask this question(s) or not, so forgive me if not in the correct category.

I will be retiring in 3 years. I have been researching full timing in an RV for about a year now. I really like the idea of having the capability of being able to move around. I am thinking that I won't "travel" that much but rather find a location and stay a month or two then go to the next location. Will definitely follow the warmth and be in Florida for winters. I just can't decide in what. I am leaning toward a used class a gas motor home, in the 35' range. My current vehicle is towable on a dolly. I really don't want to buy a big truck to pull something. I am by myself. Here is some other info on me:

1) Plan on being debt free at retirement. This includes having either a toad or tow vehicle paid off by then.
2) Looking at spending $35,000 to $50,000 on what ever I decide to get. Will pay cash.
3) Will have approximately $2,000.00 a month for social security coming in.
4) Will have approximately an additional $25,000.00 in savings after purchasing the RV.
5) I am NOT handy repairing anything mechanical ie; engines.

Here are my questions:
1) Is it bad for a motor home to sit for a month or two? I have considered buying a park model home but I want the option to move around.

2) Is living full time in a motor home doable on $2,000.00 a month? Please remember I am alone, no other person or pets to consider. I don't have a lavish lifestyle, don't eat out very often, stay pretty much at home now.

Thank you for all your expertise advise in advance!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 04:52:30 PM »
Is it Bad? No, even though driving it regularly is considered a Good Thing.  Heck, many RVers park in one spot all summer or store in one spot all winter. Not to worry.

Can you live on $2000/month?  All depends on you. If you could live on that in a stick house, you could do it in an RV as well. Maybe not travel so much, though, cause mpg is low and therefore fuel costs are high. And RV park rates are usually better for long term stays.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

camperAL

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 01:15:37 AM »
It seems doable to me if you are debt free to start out with. An important aspect is to find a motorhome that is in good shape. I'd use the check lists in the forum library to help you select. Also ask questions here for seasoned opinions. Have a mechanic look the RV over real careful before any money is laid down. My wife and I took the unit we were looking at to a shop and found out what needed to be done with it before buying and used that as a negotiation when buying. Anything you miss will cost you dollars to fix so be sure before you buy.

You have to be careful of motorhomes that look good but sat years and will probably not be sound to drive down the road. I'd try to buy one that is less than ten years old and had a couple of slides. You'll appreciate the space later on. Tires are only good for 6 or 7 years safety wise.

You can most likely travel 300 miles or so on about $100 per month while towing. Dolly towing will create a need to find a spot for the tow dolly. So larger camp spots will be in order or talk to campground to find a place to park the dolly. Stay somewhere a month or two and you will have travel dollars you can save. I'd suggest figuring out how much it costs you to live first. We kept a log of all of our expenses. Then figure out how much you have left over for travel/campgrounds. I also would have a savings account to use in the event you will need repairs and at some point in time you will probably have some just like a house. There are places online that rate various shops around the country.

There have been others on here who have limited budgets and are having a great time. Just be as informed as you can ahead of time.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 01:19:53 AM by camperAL »
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

rollindowntheroad

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 10:07:38 AM »
I am planning on being debt free at retirement.  I will be looking at used motor homes, probably 10 to 13 years old.  I guess I am more concerned about my income that I will have and if I can live on it.  I don't want to get into something only to find out in a year or so that I can't afford it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 10:32:52 AM »
You are wise to be concerned. RVing is an attractive lifestyle, but a rolling home is not cheap to own or operate. Anything that necessitates a trip to an RV shop is extremely expensive. Upwards of $100/hr and they ain't bashful with the hours billed.   If you can't handle routine appliance, electrical and water system troubles, you could find yourself with high repair bills for even small problems. The plumbing and electrical systems in an RV are more complex than those in a stick house, plus they get shaken & rattled as you drive, so repairs are more likley to be needed.

On the upside, Rvers generally get along with fewer sets of clothing (it's a very casual life) and eating in can be as frugal as you wish.  RV parks come in all price ranges too, though you won't find many lower-priced parks in major tourist attraction areas. Whether you will be personally satisfied with low rent parks is something only you can judge.

Also be aware that an RV is a rapidly depreciating asset. You need to have a plan for leaving it behind at some point and getting another place to live, with relatively little money recovered from your RV.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 09:03:29 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

flagolfer

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2017, 10:37:44 AM »
Rollin - fellow "new to RV's and still researching" person here.

Just a couple of questions/observations.

Have you researched anticipated living expenses in the RV (insurance, campground fees, etc) and compared those to your current fixed living expenses?  Your post did not provide any information on what your current expenses are.

Have you factored in for unexpected expenses (RV repairs, medical emergencies)?  You indicated your emergency kitty would be about $25,000.  Not knowing your age, its tough to judge whether that provides a sufficient reserve for the unexpected events life throws at us.

I'm not certain why you want to pay cash for a MH that is 10-13 years old (other than the probable difficulty of getting financing).  First, I wouldn't even buy a car that old!  RV's are much more complicated.
Second, I'd rather finance a newer vehicle.  I understand the desire to be debt free but I financed my car even though I could have bought it outright.  The cash I did not have to spend was put into investments.

Just my $.02.  Good luck to you.

cadee2c

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 11:52:17 AM »
Quote
I'm not certain why you want to pay cash for a MH that is 10-13 years old

I think this is a matter of opinion. We paid cash for a 20 year old MH that was in better condition than many newer ones. Its really not the age that matters. Its how well it was taken care of. I knew the owners of my MH and I knew they were meticulous about taking care of it.

My cousins just bought a class C that is even older and is in really good condtion. A few dollars into the engine for plugs and wires and hoses and stuff and they spent less than $5000 and have a sweet rig.

Just take your time and look and you can find deals like this.
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rollindowntheroad

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 12:54:32 PM »
I want to retire when I am 65, currently 62.  Don't know if that is going to be possible though, may have to work another year.  This doesn't sound like it's going to work for me.  Going to have to come up with a plan B.  I know all you guys out there are doing it and really do appreciate your comments and expert advise.

flagolfer

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2017, 01:25:41 PM »
Rollin - I was simply pointing out things for you to consider.  I do believe you need to simply compare your current expenses to your expected expenses to determine if it is doable  I'm 62 as well, DW is still working, and actually likes her job, so I'm not certain if or when I will get to RV on a frequent basis but I'm researching it and thinking it through carefully.  I think you've gotten some good advice from all the folks who have answered and if you are retiring in 3 years, maybe 4, then all I can say is that it is too soon to start getting discouraged.  Just plan it carefully and you so be okay with whatever your final decision is.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 01:28:34 PM »

5) I am NOT handy repairing anything mechanical ie; engines.


That in itself, IMO, is a BIG reason to consider a trailer and tow vehicle instead of a motorhome.  When a motorhome requires mechanical work, the entire rig has to go into the shop and is out of commission for the duration.  For major repairs, a few shops will let you sleep in the rig overnight but you'll have to go elsewhere during the day.  Otherwise you're looking at getting a motel room.  Shops willing to work on large vehicles are less plentiful and tend to cost more than general repair shops.

With a truck and trailer, only the truck goes into the shop.  Your house remains set up and perfectly livable in a nearby campground.

And if something major happens, with a truck and trailer you have the option of simply buying another truck instead of sinking money into the old one.   With a motorhome, you're committed to doing whatever it takes to keep it running and you're immobile until it's fixed, as at least one Forum member can attest. 

Likewise if something goes wrong with the trailer, or if you just want a change, you can replace it without losing what you've invested in the truck.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 01:38:12 PM by Lou Schneider »

flagolfer

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 01:30:09 PM »
Excellent point Lou.

Badlands Bob

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 07:11:29 PM »
In your situation, I would consider a used 3/4 ton diesel pickup and a used 30' +/- 5th wheel.  Obviously, the more you shop, the better deal you will find.   Most trailer systems are easy to learn and the maintenance/repairs can be done by you.  Youtube is your friend.  The 3/4 ton pickup can be worked on by most decent mechanic shops.  You only have one drive train to maintain. 

I would love to buy a Class A and I could afford it.  I just can't justify the depreciation costs that come with a Class A. 
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JudyJB

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 12:09:50 AM »
Do you have a home that you plan on selling?  It is very expensive to own a home and also full-time.

However, I know people have done it, but this tight of a budget will most likely affect your lifestyle.  For example, you would have to spend less time traveling because of the cost of gas and more time sitting in one place.  Would you also consider work camping?
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rollindowntheroad

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2017, 08:50:30 AM »
Thank you to all that replied! I really appreciate everyone's advise. It looks as though full timing in a MH isn't going to work for me financially. Will research getting a truck and either a TT or 5'er. Maybe that won't be doable either, but at least I am finding out the information before I get into it.

Once again, Thank you!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 10:17:03 AM by rollindowntheroad »

NCSU Dad

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Re: Can't decide and have questions.........
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 04:05:38 PM »
rollingdowntheroad we are also on the sidelines weighing the pros & cons of diving into the wonderful world of RV'ing. I ran across the following YouTube video and the author goes through her monthly spending in detail. Listing expenses & everyday living stuff we may not be thinking about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsLnwwr1JL0
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 04:10:59 PM by NCSU Dad »

 

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